Rivas to deliver homily at La Divina Pastora feast

Archbishop Emritus Robert Rivas -
Archbishop Emritus Robert Rivas -

On Sunday, pilgrims will head to Siparia to take part in the annual procession to the shrine of La Divina Pastora.

Archbishop Emeritus Robert Rivas OP will be the chief celebrant and homilist at the feast, which is being celebrated under the theme Consecrating Families to La Divina Pastora, Mother of the Divine Shepherd.

The pilgrimage to the shrine, Rivas said in a media release, "leads to an encounter with the Virgin Mary who has become the mother, comforter and shepherdess of all who visit her shrine. Give her a title; give her a name: Holy Mother, Siparee Mai, Divine Shepherdess; in Siparia she is patroness and companion of pilgrims on their journey of faith."

Rivas said this year's celebration, in a special way, is a moment of grace and a time for deeper reflection on what the Holy Spirit is saying to the church all over the world today, but also right here in Trinidad and Tobago.

"We cannot miss this moment for listening and building the church together," he said in the release.

On the call by Pope Francis to build a church together and for pilgrims to accompany each other together on the road, Rivas said no one should be left out.

"The pope’s vision for a synodal church involves the participation of all. Reaching out to the peripheries is critical for this journey together. This is a joyful and exciting time for listening to the Spirit and listening to one another. No one must be excluded."

In keeping with this year's family theme, Rivas said domestic violence cannot be allowed to destroy the family.

"Caring for families is a priority of the church and ought to be a priority for society too, for the family is the sanctuary of life and the vital cell of society. Anything that threatens the family undermines human dignity and the sacredness of life. The Good Shepherd cares for his sheep and Mary as the Divine Shepherdess cares for all her children.

"We cannot allow our families to be destroyed by domestic violence. We need work together for the safety and welfare of all. We cannot allow the culture of death to rule in our homes or in our land."

He said there is the need to build a new culture of respect and care for all but especially the vulnerable and the defenceless.


"Rivas to deliver homily at La Divina Pastora feast"

More in this section